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【Today is the day! July 7th is Tanabata】Enjoy Beautiful Sights! Star Festival in Kyoto!
Tanabata in Kyoto
In Japan, June 7th is a Star Festival Day called Tanabata(七夕).
Tanabata folktale is one of the most famous folktales in Japan.
Tanabata folktale is a love story of a beautiful princess Orihime and a prince, Hikoboshi.
Orihime was a daughter of the god of sky and she was very good at weaving.
She was a very hard worker and her father was worried about her working too hard everyday. So he looked for her husband and he was a cowherd Hikoboshi.
After they got married, they were very much into each other that they neglected weaving and herding and almost quit working.
Father of Orihime got very angry and he forced them to live separately and he said “If you work hard everyday, I will let you see each other once in a year on July 7th on the milky way”.
Orihime and Hikoboshi started working hard after they were separated and see each other only once in a year on July 7th.
As Orihime was good at weaving and she was smart, people started to make a wish to be good at weaving and smart like Orihime on July 7th. But nowadays, people make various kinds of wish on Tanabata.
People write their wishes on a paper called Tanzaku(短冊) and hang them on Bamboo tree.
After Tanabata, they put those bamboos on fire. And as the smoke from the burning bamboos goes up into the sky, people believe that their wishes would reach the heaven.
Kyo no Tanabata
Kyoto throws many events related to Tanabata called Kyo no Tanabata.
You can see a beautiful collaboration of lights and arts at Kyo no Tanabata.
There are 2 areas you shall see beautiful light-ups and arts! They are Horikawa area and Kamogawa area!
Horikawa area of lightings are located on Horikawa Street from Imadegawa to Oike street.
1. Milky Way Light-up and Bamboo Road
At Horikawa Area, you shall enjoy Milky way light-up and a beautiful bamboo road.
Bamboo trees are decorated by Tanzaku with people’s wishes and beautiful lights make a romantic atmosphere.
2. Collaboration of lights and arts
Also, you can enjoy Kyoto arts and traditional crafts with beautiful lights.
This is beautiful material colored by traditional technique called Kyo Yuzen.
Clean water is necessary for Kyo Yuzen, the collaboration of clean water of Kyoto and Kyo Yuzen and beautiful lights are magnificent.
You can enjoy bamboo arts and lights here as well. You will see a lot of light decoration made from bamboo.
2. Kamogawa Area
Kamogawa area of lightings are located on side of Kamo River from Nijo street to Shijo Street.
You will enjoy cool air from Kamo river and light decorations and arts made from bamboo.
From May to September, restaurants by Kamo river start having “Yuka”, which is a seasonal service that people can enjoy having dinner on balcony close to the river. You can feel the cool air from Kamo river and enjoy the view of Kyoto. It is very popular in Kyoto.
How about feel the traditional scent of summer in Kyoto?
When you visit Kyoto in August, please take a look at Kyo no Tanabata!